Maik Schuster is a director based in Berlin and founder of the directors collective I AM HERE.

Below are Maik’s selects and what he had to say:

Selects: Films

1. Process (2018)

Directed by Kahlil Joseph

I admire Kahlil’s work. I hadn’t seen anything like it before and I was blown away by the symbiosis of cinema, music, and poetry. Symbolism, origin, and heritage. This film for Sampha is so rich in many ways, a whole new genre. It also was a major inspiration for our short film ‘The Seed‘ but more than anything it gave us the confidence to approach filmmaking differently and to think in layers rather than following a linear story thread. By the way, if anyone knows where I can buy or stream it these days please hit me up… it’s a well-hidden treasure!

2. Performance (1970)

Directed by Donald Cammell & Nicolas Roeg

A trippy journey around violence, identity, and Mick Jagger. And Mick Jagger.

3. Ice Age (2002)

Directed by Chris Wedge

The first film I actively watched in a cinema. I laughed my 12-year-old ass off. 10 years later I applied for film university. The lecturers wanted to test me and asked for my favorite film. For some reason, all I could think of in the interview situation was ‘Ice Age’. Some laughed at me, others looked confused because they didn’t know if I was being serious I believe. In the end, I got away with it and was accepted. Another 10 years forward and I still think ‘Ice Age’ is pure gold – but it ironically also sets a tragic counterpart to the world we live in with global warming being our biggest challenge.

4. Kids (1995)

Directed by Larry Clark

A classic. Often copied, never reached. A groundbreaking film for skateboarding and youth culture.

Selects: Music Videos

1. ‘Until The Quiet Comes’ Flying Lotus (2013)

Directed by Kahlil Joseph

Another Kahlil Joseph gem. My favorite music video of all time. The music by Flying Lotus so virtuoso, the video so timeless.
I love how Kahlil hijacks the reality of the hood and makes it dreamy and surreal playing with time, life and death. Storyboard P’s iconic death dance gives me goosebumps every time.

2. ‘Never Catch Me’ Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar (2014)

Directed by Hiro Murai

Another Flying Lotus, another story about life and death. I think this one really hits the spot and I find it super interesting to compare it to ‘Until The Quiet Comes’. Hiro’s storytelling perfectly matches with the song and I love how he celebrates the bright side of death. Another great example of dance in music videos and how it can become part of a narrative. It just makes so much sense here. Insane casting on this one also. These kids! WOW!

3. ‘Czech One’ King Krule (2017)

Directed by Frank Lebon

Truly iconic and timeless to me. The ultimate proof that all you need is ideas. No big news really, but looking at so much stuff out there maybe it’s important to repeat: Forget about crazy equipment and effects. Every gimmick is only as good as the reason to use it.

Selects: Skate Videos

I feel like we all see so many campaigns and short films these days – I thought I’d share some of the stuff that inspired me the most instead. Skate videos were the reason I bought my first camera when I was 14 and I still think there’s so much creativity in this space. The choice of spots, the choice of tricks, the choice of angles. The use of sound, music, and editing. Everything has to come together to capture that perfect blink of an eye and it can take one try or a couple of years until you get the shot. In the end, every video part evokes its own emotion and a portrait of the featured skaters and the culture around them.

1. Spirit Quest (2016)

Directed by Colin Read

Brain melting creativity throughout this whole concept video. Even when watching it over and over again you don’t get all the details and crazy transitions. I feel like the stuff Colin puts out is always so innovative and I also love his film and commercial work.

2. ‘Mindfield’ Alien Workshop (2009)

Directed by Greg Hunt

The last iconic video from Alien Workshop in my opinion. This video taught me a lot about associative editing and how an image influences the following even though they don’t have a clear connection. A true lesson in abstract thinking combined with amazing skating and music.

3. ‘Enjoi’ Bag Of Suck (2006)

Directed by Matt Eversole

The same as in film: Sometimes all you need is to follow a unique character. Louie Barletta is just a rolling stand-up comedy show and the hype is real every time I watch him skate. The way he jumps on that broken board in the first line says everything. You can find the whole video on Youtube I think.